Britany Riley , Julia Sherman  //  8/11/17  //  Daily Update

Transgender service members challenge the President's proposed ban on military service by transgender people. The President talks about war with North Korea, and commentary ensues about whether the President legally could order a military strike there. And the Administration delays an Obama-era rule governing the relationship between financial advisers and their clients.



Five transgender service members are challenging President Trump’s proposed reversal of the military’s transgender service policy, writes Helen Klein Murillo (Lawfare). 

  • The complaint is available here. 



President Trump’s voter fraud commission risks being a target for hackers, reports Geoff Mulvihill (PBS Newshour). 



President Trump has escalated his warnings to North Korea, stating that his previous comments were possibly not harsh enough (NYT, WaPo, WSJ). 

  • Attacking North Korea would be illegal, writes Zachary Price at Take Care. 
  • Marty Lederman also thinks that President Trump cannot lawfully strike North Korea without congressional approval (Take Care). 
  • Nevertheless, President Trump might still launch an attack without congressional authorization, writes Ilya Somin (WaPo). 
  • The United States should not give up on diplomatic solutions to North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, argues Susan E. Rice (NYT).
  • If President Trump decides to launch of preemptive strike, his senior military advisers have few other options, notes Dan Lamothe (WaPo).
  • President Trump’s threats are clumsy and unlikely to change North Korea’s calculus or behavior, argues Eric Gomez at the Cato Institute. 
  • The New York Times provides an outline of self-defense and international law with regards to the situation in North Korea here. 

The Trump Administration is apparently considering whether to privatize a large portion of the war in Afghanistan (WaPo, USA Today). 

  • Such a plan would risk significant problems that could undermine the military’s mission, writes Laura Dickinson (Just Security). 



FCC Chairman Ajit Pai faces calls to recuse himself from FCC decision-making regarding capping prison phone call rates due to his relationship with former client and prison phone service provider Securus Technologies (Ars Technica). 



A Bipartisan health care fix is possible, but there are a number of talking points lawmakers should consider, suggest Joseph Antos and James Capretta on Health Affairs Blog.  

The Trump Administration requested a delay in implementation of the Obama-era rule requiring financial advisers to act in their customers’ best interest (NYT). 



Writing on his own blog, Eric Posner evaluates the chances that President Trump will be impeached.



The raid of former Trump advisor Paul Manafort’s home suggests that Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation had probable cause to believe the search would uncover time-sensitive evidence of a crime, argues Julian Sanchez on Just Security. 

  • The President claims the raid was “pretty tough stuff.” (Politico)

President Trump thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for saving the U.S. money, after President Putin’s decision to expel a significant number of State Department staff from Russia (NYT, WaPo, Politico).

Daily Update | July 20, 2018

7/20/18  //  Daily Update

A federal judge ordered the pretrial detention of alleged Russian covert agent Maria Butina. The Trump administration announced new guidance for asylum officers, instructing them to scrutinize applications according to stricter standards and to weigh claims of fear against whether applicants have previously entered the country illegally. The White House withdrew the nomination of Ryan W. Bounds to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after he faced intense opposition for past writings about multiculturalism and race. Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be targeting U.S. officials who worked on Russian sanctions, including former U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul. European and Asian countries are taking affirmative steps to protect the global trade institutions and relationships the Trump Administration appears ready to abandon. In voting unanimously against the Sinclair/Tribune merger, the FCC blocked Sinclair Broadcast Group’s attempts to create a market share which would give the company access to nearly 75% of American households with a television.

Nicandro Iannacci

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | July 19, 2018

7/19/18  //  Daily Update

At a news conference, President Trump walked back comments he made which contradicted the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. Sikh Indian asylum seekers have reported that their turbans were taken away in a federal prison in Oregon. The Ninth Circuit denied the Trump administration’s motion to stay the preliminary injunction that prevents the implementation of a plan to ban transgender people from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Services. Secret Service documents received through FOIA requests revealed that taxpayers spent nearly $250,000 for two overseas trips by Eric and Donald Trump Jr. in which they visited Trump family businesses. New York City and State filed lawsuits over the DOJ public safety grants that require sanctuary cities to work with ICE.

Abigail DeHart

Michigan Law School

Daily Update | July 18, 2018

7/18/18  //  Daily Update

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is seeking immunity for 5 witnesses who are expected to testify against Paul Manafort at his impending trial. Maria Butina, who was indicted Tuesday on charges of acting as an unregistered agent of the Russian government, had developed extensive ties within the conservative movement. The Trump administration’s proposal to impose Medicaid work requirements puts it on course to break the law by reducing tribal health care funding by millions of dollars. The Internal Revenue Service will no longer require some non-profit groups to disclose the names of large donors. The Department of Labor rescinded an Obama-era regulation that would have required companies to disclose their use of consultants to undermine labor organizing efforts.

Jacqueline Sahlberg

Harvard Law School